Sunday, April 21, 2002

Computer Tips, Tweaks & Toys
...just a few helpful notes to use as you navigate the abyss of the web...

In the course of wandering the internet, I've picked up many neat ideas & pointers. The web is a virtual Pandora’s Box—but one full of good things. Well, I’ll admit—not always good—but hopefully I can give you a few pointers along the way that will allow you to sidestep some of the swampy areas...

Here's a tip for you - it's so easy but unless someone tells you to do it - you won't. Are things really weirding out on you when you're online? I mean - more than usual. This applies to Windows 95, 98 and not the newer XP. Go to Start/Settings/Control panel and click on add/remove. Find your Browser - like Microsoft Internet Explorer 5 or 6 or whatever you're running. Click on it and a window opens offering you some options - one of which is 'repair'. Click on it. You may be surprised to find everything running more smoothly!
Because I have the chutzpah to establish this site - you may think I'm an expert. Wrong! But this guy is - try this website where one of our local media tech guru, Al Fasoldt, holds forth. His columns are archived by topics as well as dates & can be very helpful. Which reminds me - one helpful little tid-bit I picked up from him is press the F-11 key atop your keyboard & the screen being viewed will fill your whole screen. Press F-11 again to restore the screen to normal.
Here's a tiny gem of a program that will knock your socks off! It's maybe like the most useful
thing yet & it's free. So OK - how many times have you been blithely typing away when suddenly you look up at the monitor and - omigawd - CAPS LOCK was on! Or tried to enter your password in a case sensitive slot & it keeps telling you it's wrong & YOU KNOW you're right!? Ooof - CAPS LOCK is on. This will let you know with a sound when it's on. It really works - first time it sounded, I jumped a mile! Go to FirstCap & download now - seeing is believing!

Time For Fun & Games:
Ever been to a web site where they have some cute animation (well maybe annoying, too) but you wonder - "how'd they do that"? Here's how. Right click on an animation - like the one at right - click on 'Save Picture As' & plunk it into the GIFs file you've already created in your Documents. (In case you didn't do that - just 'right-click' on a blank space on your desk top, choose 'New', then 'Folder'. The folder will appear on your desk top. Click in the box under it to name it "GIFs").

To put a GIF in an e-mail message, click "insert", then "picture" & follow directions. You can also put it in as an attachment or by copy & paste - whatever works better for you.

Beth creates marvelous caricatures with a kindly hand - that's an example of her work at upper right. Send her your picture by e-mail & she will do one or even an animation of you. Her current price is $35 per which includes an animation & a larger version - trust me, they're worth it. Check with her for details. Because of a mention by the Lockergnome online newsletter, she has been inundated with orders, so be patient.
I've fallen in love - and at my advanced age. Visit Rob Woolley's site and laugh till the tears run down your cheeks!!! The site appears to be a 'One Trick Pony' - unless he's added a link since I last visited.

Twisted Knicker Dept.
OK - everyone who has received a chain letter, raise your hand. The real winners are those that promise world peace, a cure for cancer, a stop to child abuse if you just SEND IT ON NOW (in caps) to everyone in your address book – and the coup de grace – send a copy back to the sender so he/she knows you’re their friend! Now how many people are intimidated by that one?! What? You didn’t send it on?!? You’re evil – and a bad friend to boot!

Now lower your hands and click here for E-Mail Rules of Conduct. This is really very funny & relevant to all of us who send & receive e-mail! Thank you, Anna Carlson for a LOL.
I recently discovered a site called SeniorNet - no, not Senior as in Senior High School - that's Senior as in Senior citizen. (Guess I've blown my cover - I'm not a chick). It's rich with a variety of book discussions, articulate message boards & assorted goodies. I highly recommend it to any age. Click on SeniorNet & look it over.
Now - let's get serious. (Please - please read this)! We all hear about those nasty viruses—even those who have been lucky enough to avoid them. So how many times have you received an e-mail warning from good friends about a new virus? Uh huh, right. Even sent a few, right? After awhile, I tumbled to the fact that if it's real, you'd better believe it will make it to the Tech News headline on your portal page & into the newspapers! This Virus Hoax site is a list of popular virus hoaxes that are circulated on the web. If nothing else, it's interesting!
Milk & cookies are good on holidays or any day! But then, there are those other cookies - the ones on your computer that give cookies a bad name! To find the file in which they lurk - click on My Computer/C Drive/Windows - and look for the folder labeled Cookies. Right click on it & click on 'Send To' which will send a shortcut to the Cookies file to your desktop. Open it & WOW - if you haven't swept out the cookie crumbs in a while it will be loaded. Now there may be a few cookies you'll want to keep (in my case those are 'index' - which you can't get rid of anyway, Yahoo (which gives me entree to my customized home page without logging in every time) & sometimes one or two more. You'll get so you recognize those you want to keep just for convenience. Hold down Ctrl & click each one of those you want to keep, in succession. They will be highlighted in blue. Then click on Edit in the toolbar at top & click invert. Now all but those you want to keep are highlighted. Click on File & delete and all those crummy cookies will go to your Recycle Bin, where you can delete them at your pleasure.
I love really old folk music - the kind of thing that's so hard to find on the web. Oh - lots of sites - lots of not-so-good-stuff (I'm being kind), lots of sites that plague you with pop-ups. Then I found The Contemplator's Folk Music of England, Ireland, Scotland & America and it is full of wonders for those of us who have an interest in such music. Contemplator provides lyrics to the songs and their history. If you have a favorite among the old songs (and you'll be surprised to find that some of them are so old) you can find out all about it here - lyrics, history - and listen to a particularly pleasing version.For instance I have long complained that no one has ever written a pretty song about "Sally", as they have other womens' names. C'mon -- Sallie in Our Alley, Long Tall Sallie (which isn't helped by the fact that I'm tall), "...a peculiar kind of a gal", "I had a mule & her name was Sal" - and the real bummer—”Sallie From Syracuse”? Enough! Imagine my surprise to find Sally in Our Alley listed here along with its complimentary lyrics. Please do visit the site & check out the links. It's a gift.



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